Pharmacological and toxicological studies of Drimys angustifolia Miers. (Winteraceae)

A Witaicenis, E F Roldão, L N Seito, N P Rocha, L C Di Stasi
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2007 May 22, 111 (3): 541-6
Drimys angustifolia Miers. (Winteraceae) is a Brazilian medicinal plant used as analgesic, antiulcer and anti-inflammatory without studies to assure its efficacy and safety Leaf and stem bark extracts were evaluated to determine the antiulcer, analgesic, antiinflammatory and antioxidant activities. Preliminary toxic effects and qualitative phytochemical profile were also performed. The antiulcer activity was detected in both extracts. Administration of the leaf extract at 250 mg/kg inhibited total lesion area by 76.50% (p < 0.01 in ethanol/HCl method), while carbenoxolone at 250 mg/kg reduced lesions by 69.48%. Stem bark extract (250 mg/kg) inhibited lesion by 81.42%, while carbenoxolone by 74.10%. Similar effects were observed in the ethanol-induced ulcer method, but no activity was observed in piroxican model. The effects involve nitric oxide in gastric protection, since the L-NAME treatment reversed the protection given by the extracts. Antioxidant effects suggest an involvement against oxidative stress. In the pain (writhing, tail-flick and hot-plate tests) and inflammation (carrageenan-induced paw edema) models, the extracts did not present any effect. The phytochemical studies demonstrated that both extracts contain flavonoids, saponins, glycosilated triterpenoids, fixed acids, cyanogenic glycosides, quinones, tannins, xanthone and steroidal aglycones. Toxicological studies showed that the extracts are safe at the effective antiulcer doses.

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